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Television/film/video producer : Job description

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Producers are the main players in the television, film and video industries. A producer will oversee each project from conception to completion and may also be involved in the marketing and distribution processes.

Producers work closely with directors and other production staff on the shoot. Increasingly, they need to have directing skills themselves as the producer may also be the director and may take care of all project operations. Producers arrange funding for each project and are responsible for keeping the production within the allocated budget.

Creative input and the level of decision making varies, as this is dependent on the client and the brief.

Typical work activities

Producers are responsible for facilitating a project from beginning to end. They are involved in every stage of the television programme, film or video, overseeing the project from start to finish, both in the studio and on location.

Essentially team leaders, they are supported by production assistants, coordinators and managers, depending on the size of the project.

Tasks include:

  • raising funding;
  • reading, researching and assessing ideas and finished scripts;
  • commissioning writers or securing the rights to novels, plays or screenplays;
  • building and developing a network of contacts;
  • liaising and discussing projects with financial backers - projects vary from a small, corporate video costing £500 to a Hollywood feature film at more than £100million;
  • using computer software packages for screenwriting, budgeting and scheduling;
  • hiring key staff, including a director and a crew to shoot films or videos;
  • controlling the budget and allocating resources;
  • pulling together all the strands of creative and practical talent involved in the project to create a team;
  • maintaining contemporary technical skills;
  • organising shooting schedules - dependent on the type of producer and availability of support staff;
  • troubleshooting;
  • supervising the progress of the project from production to post production;
  • holding regular meetings with the director to discuss characters and scenes;
  • acting as a sounding board for the director;
  • bringing the finished production in on budget.

In theory, the producer deals with all the practical and political aspects of keeping a project running smoothly, so that the director and the rest of the team can concentrate on the creative aspects.

Written by AGCAS editors
October 2012

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